Blum, Léon

   statesman, writer
   Born in Paris and educated at the École Normale Supérieure and at the sorbonne, Léon Blum, after leaving the university, practiced law and also gained a reputation as a literary and drama critic. Brought into politics by the Dreyfus affair (see alfred dreyfus), he joined the Socialist Party in 1899. As a Socialist, he collaborated, after 1904, with jean jaurès on l'humanité. In 1920, after the Congress of Tours, at which the Communist and socialist Parties split, Blum was responsible for rebuilding the French socialist Party. From 1919 to 1928, and from 1929 to 1940, he was a member of the Chamber of Deputies. In the 1930s, he helped to organize the Popular Front, a coalition of leftists and centrists that gained a majority in the Chamber in 1936. It was the first time that the Socialists controlled the government in France. Blum became premier (the first socialist and also the first Jew to do so), and immediately encountered conservative opposition through his program of extensive social reform. The 40-hour workweek was introduced, along with paid vacations. Labor disputes were brought to arbitration, and the Bank of France and the munitions industry were nationalized. As there was a strong concentration on domestic issues, Blum's government was criticized for failing to give precedence to rearmament (especially after the German remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936). Blum was criticized by the Communists for his policy of nonintervention in the Spanish civil war. In March 1938, Blum's socialist Party broke with the Popular Front government of Edouard daladier over the Munich Pact signed with Germany, Italy, and Great Britain. After the French surrender in 1940, Blum was arrested by the vichy government and charged with treason. At his trial, however, his remarkable and eloquent defense so embarrassed the vichy regime that the proceedings were stopped and he was sent to a concentration camp. Freed by the Allies in 1945, Blum subsequently served as French ambassador extraordinary to several countries and also would lead an interim government from December 1946 to January 1947. In that capacity, he helped to put in place the foundations of the Fourth Republic. As a writer, Blum's works include Nouvelles Conversations de Goethe avec Eckermann (1901); Du mariage (1907), Stendhal et la beylisme (1914), and À l'échelle humaine (1945), in which he wrote of the resistance and also presented his views on the differences between socialism and communism.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BLUM, LÉON — (1872–1950), statesman; the first Jew and the first socialist to become premier of France. Son of a wealthy Alsatian merchant, Blum graduated with the highest honors in law at the Sorbonne. At the age of 22, he was recognized as a poet and writer …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Blum, Léon — Blum (blo͞om), Léon. 1872 1950. French socialist politician who served as premier (1936 1937, 1938, and 1946 1947). He was imprisoned (1940 1945) by the Vichy government during World War II. * * * born April 9, 1872, Paris, France died March 30,… …   Universalium

  • Blum, Léon — (1872–1950)    French statesman and three times premier of France. The son of a wealthy Jewish merchant, Blum was propelled into politics by the Dreyfus Affair of 1894 and in 1899 he joined the Socialist Party. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Blum, Leon — 1872–1950    An intellectual and writer. Blum became one of the leading figures of the French socialist party (SFIO), after World War I and of the Union of the Left in the 1930s. In 1936 he became Prime Minister in the Popular Front government… …   Who’s Who in World War Two

  • Blum, Leon — (1872 1950)    French statesman. He first worked as a literary critic and author. He was premier in the Popular Front government of 1936 7, vice premier from 1937 8, and premier in 1938. In 1943 he was handed over to the Germans, who deported him …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Blum, Léon — ► (1872 1950) Político francés de familia judía. Fue uno de los fundadores del periódico L´Humanité. Fue presidente del Gobierno en 1936. Dimitió en 1937. Se opuso al armisticio con la Alemania nazi (1940). Es autor de La reforma gubernamental y… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Blum — Blum, Léon …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Leon Blum — Léon Blum Léon Blum Parlementaire français …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Leon Blum — Léon Blum Grafik von Félix Vallotton Léon Blum (* 9. April 1872 in Paris; † 30. März 1950 in Jouy en Josas bei Versailles) war Jurist, Schriftsteller, französischer Politiker und mehrfach französischer Premierminis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leon — Léon Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Léon est un nom propre qui peut désigner une personne ou un lieu : Sommaire 1 Noms de lieux 1.1  France …   Wikipédia en Français

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